SWTOR Mercenary ARSENAL Guide (Updated for Patch 5.3)

SWTOR Mercenary 5.0 Discipline Guide by Vulkk Share this:

A Complete User-Friendly Mercenary ARSENAL  5.0+ Guide

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The article is structured in sub-pages for better orientation, less scrolling and easier navigation. Click on one of the 4 tabs below to visit the INTRODUCTION TO THE DISCIPLINE, STATS PRIORITIES AND GEARING TIPS, ABILITIES, UTILITIES AND PRIORITIES and CONCLUSION sections. Inside each one of the tabs (or sub-pages) you will find Table of Contents to further ease your navigation and help you find what you are looking for. The 4 tabs are available on the top and at the bottom.


SWTOR Mercenary ARSENAL 5.0 Guide bounty hunter thumbnailArsenal is the 2nd Discipline of 3 available for the Mercenary. It focuses on dealing direct damage without relying on DoTs much. Most of the hard hitting abilities are channeled, which fits perfectly into the role of the class – stay away from danger, pick a clean and safe spot and don’t move like crazy all the time (which is typical for MDPS, by default).

What is Arsenal Good For

The playstyle involves a small number of abilities and has an opener capable of dealing very high amount of damage to one or multiple opponents quickly and efficiently. The spec is ideal for fights involving frequent target switching and/or multiple targets boss encounters. The AoE potential of Arsenal is fairly good. My personal recommendation for leveling a Mercenary class is to use the very Arsenal spec. Nothing compares to the pure raw feeling of firing at your enemies with your heavy badass cannon.

Changes in Patch 5.0

With Knights of the Eternal Throne and Patch 5.0 the Arsenal spec was not changed significantly. Some of them I covered in this post as well as in my Class Changes Overview Video, based on the Developer Blogs.

  • Responsive Safeguards: New ability exclusive to Mercenaries which absorbs all single target damage, reflects 50% of it, and heals you for 5% of your health each time an attack is absorbed.
  • Tag and Bag: Hindering a target with Electro Net grants Tag and Bag, increasing your alacrity by 15% for 9 seconds. Additionally, activating Supercharged Gas reduces the cooldown of Kolto Overload by 5 seconds.
  • Trauma Regulators: While Energy Shield is active, you generate a stack of Trauma Regulators each time you receive direct damage. Stacks up to 15 times. When Energy Shield expires, each stack of Trauma Regulators instantly heals you for 5% of your maximum health.
  • Battlefield Protocols: Stealth Scan grants Battlefield Protocols, increasing the damage or healing dealt by your next non-channeled direct damage or healing ability by 20%. For each target revealed from stealth, you generate an additional charge of Battlefield Protocols. This effect stacks up to 5 charges and lasts for 10 seconds.

Patch 5.3 Changes

Here are the proposed changes to the Discipline. Once the update is released and the patch notes are final, I will add them here as a full section.


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24 Responses to “SWTOR Mercenary ARSENAL Guide (Updated for Patch 5.3)”

  1. David Harvey

    Any tips on where I can find a guide for PvE Merc Healer?

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      I have no healer guides on my website (yet) and can’t say if or who may have done some, mate. :(

  2. nin

    on the title picture, what armor is this ? cant fint it, but love it!

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      It’s the original Columi (Combat Medic lvl 50) EndGame gear set. Bioware removed it from the game a long time ago. It’s very likely that now a look-alike replica is available on the Cartel Market, but I can’t tell if such one exists and its name.

  3. Cybot

    Hi Vulkk. Thanks for the guide.
    I’m actually having a problem with my stats and thought you could help me : I have a mix-up of gear pieces going from 234 to 242 and I constantly have to change all my stuff in order to maintain or maximize my dps. It seems like each time I obtain a new piece, I must change all my priorities again because if I don’t my dps drops. Therefore my question is, how do you organize your stats when you have a cross-tier gear ? Is it better to keep the higher gear for later and be full 236 or full 240 instead of being 236-242 ?
    I was also wondering if it was possible for dps mercs to have regularity in parses or if it was rng every time ? Because I prefer to do always 8k4 than having luck and pull 8k8 sometimes and falling under 8k some other times.
    I apologize for asking so much questions but I’m having a lot on my mind right now as you can see :)

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      Hi Cybot,
      I’m glad you have asked these questions. I’ll do my best to answer.

      While gearing up you DO have to switch mods around. Each new piece of gear you obtain is (at the moment) mostly random and you cannot predict what you will get from the Crates. The extra expenses are unavoidable if you want to maintain the balance of Accuracy vs everything else. If your Accuracy isn’t exactly 110%, but you know next day/raid/run you will get another piece of gear, don’t bother rearanging just for one run. The optimal gear stats is only a recommendation and it wont hurt your DPS that much if you are off with 1 mod/stat. The difference you are seeing in DPS is either a result of your performance, luck or the fact that you are running different Ops. Each boss has their unique mechanics and you can’t expect to have the same DPS in all fights. That’s never possible. What is important, is to keep track of what other DPS do and your own score on the same boss when you run the operation twice.

      The RNG in Arcenal is not too big and if you follow the same rotation on the dummy, you should be able to produce similar results each time. Depending on your gear and the buffs/debuffs you apply to the dummy, a difference of 200-300… 500 may not be such a big deal. Please, remember, parsing on the dummy is only for training. The real DPS is on the bosses you farm. Perfect dummy parses can’t help there. And in boss encounters you cannot always follow the perfect ability priority, so RNG there is a bit more involved… until you run the same boss ~10 times and remember every single move and step he/she/it does, hehe.

      I hope this is helpful.

      • Cybot

        Ok thank you for answering so quickly.
        Actually the dps performance I was talking about is on training dummy so I suppose it applies to bosses too.
        As my guildmates advised me, I organized my stats like if I was full tier 3 since the begginning and had no problems until I changed the enhancements I think.
        For now, each time I obtain a new piece, I switch augments or enhancements.
        Everyone tells me I might have bad luck ha ha. I don’t want to seem overconfident, but I think I know enough on this class to say it’s not a rotation problem.
        Thanks again anyway, and I hope you will continue to release guides for next add-on.
        Long live swtor :)

  4. Taz Loki

    im just curious about a decent rotation is it possible to get a decent rotation for arsenal and email it to me if possible please and thank you

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      All the information about Abilities priorities and opener is on Page 3, mate.

      • Taz Loki

        yes i saw that but it somewhat doesnt give me a idea of a rotation i dealt with the opener but the core rotation is what im curious about

      • Vulkk Vulkk

        There’s no set rotation, mate. After more practice you will get used to follow the priority list. You can never perform a strict rotation in PvE or PvP. Don’t try to do it, you will hurt your performance :)

      • Taz Loki

        so like i said before i got the opener set would i use it as my rotation as well or what would you suggest from this point?

      • Vulkk Vulkk

        I suggest you to play the first ability from the Priority list that isn’t on CD. It’s not a rotation, it’s a priority system. You cannot follow a rotation during gameplay. Don’t try to. It wont be possible. There are downtimes, switching targets and various other obstacles.
        Memorize which your most powerful abilities are according to the Priority list I have shared and always use the first one that is available and out of CD.

      • Taz Loki

        ok a different question based on the opener is a adrenal needed or can i use a stim in replacement?

      • Vulkk Vulkk

        You should have a stim active pretty much all the time.

        Adrenaline is optional when and if you need it. It may not be in the opener. Depending on what you are fighting, it may be more benefitial to use it in the last 30% of the enemy’s HP or in a specific moment of the fight, whenever the group you are in decides to use raid buffs, for example.

      • Will Rogers

        Can you tell me if Accuracy is needed in PVP? Should it be maxed for PVP?

      • Vulkk Vulkk

        Accuracy isn’t mandatory in PvP, no. You can try with 0 extra accuracy (101%) and see if you like it. Depending on your activity and personal preferences, you can rise it up to ~105%, but 110% for PvP is kind of a waste. Better to stack Power instead.

  5. Illandra

    Which Adrenal do you use ?

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      I prefer the Attack Adrenal.

  6. Mr. F.

    Very nice Vulkk, now one for pvp oriented?

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      I haven’t played PvP on Commando or Merc in a very long time. Can’t make a dedicated guide specifically to that part of the Merc gameplay, I’m afraid.

  7. Noomi

    Thank you Vulkk, as it happens I was just looking for a Arsenal Merc guide :D!

    • Vulkk Vulkk

      Damn, I thought I’ve hidden it well enough ^^


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